Remarks from JAA President Susan J. Onuma
Happy Spring (finally)!

I hope you have all survived this long winter and are looking forward to spring as we all are. We have now been at our new location for about six months and have had a chance to host many community events. We were especially happy and honored to have Ambassador and Madame Kusaka attend our belated shinnenkai in February the day before their return to Japan. They were such a warm and engaging couple – we will miss them terribly but wish them well in their new post in Australia.

Recently, spring has been a time to reflect on the horrific events that occurred in Japan on 3/11 four years ago. But from deep tragedy emerges strength and resilience. We had the opportunity to listen to many stories of hope from the survivors at various events that were co-hosted by JAA. Most impressive was a group of high school students from Tohoku. It was so inspiring to listen to these young people as they spoke passionately about their ideas and dreams for their hometowns in the Tohoku area and their involvement in volunteer activities outside of school. I am proud to say that JAA is one of the few organizations that are still raising money for and funding projects in Tohoku.

We welcome Ambassador and Madame Reiichiro Takahashi, who have hit the ground running since their arrival in early March. They will attend our 11th Sakura Matsuri on April 18. Please join us to welcome them and enjoy taiko drumming and Japanese folk dancing, tea ceremony demonstration and a special Okinawan dance performance. Let’s all pray for sunny weather and blooming cherry trees!

As we expand our community networks, we strive to work with other organizations to co-host programs and events. In this vein, JAA will be hosting the 7th Annual Sakura Health Fair from April 9 through April 27, 2015. Over 50 programs and workshops will be held at our new Community Center. On April 28, there will be a joint JA community event to hear stories from hibakusha, survivors of the atomic bomb. And on May 19, the Joint US-JC/JAA Golf Tournament will be held at the Montclair Golf Course. In addition to our Gala Dinner, this will be a major fundraising event. NY has been a major destination and home for Japanese and Japanese American artists. Our Annual Art Show will open on May 7th and go on until May 15th – we will be celebrating 20 years of showcasing Japanese and Japanese American artists working in the NY area. We thank the artists for donating 50% of the proceeds from the sale of their artwork to JAA. And last but not least, please save May 28 – the date of our annual Scholarship Dinner at the Harvard Club. While we are known for our many activities for senior citizens, we have been investing in the future of our community for over 40 years. Our scholarships have grown over the years from a total of $1,000 in 1971 to over $50,000 for graduating high school students.

I would like to express our deepest condolences to our Executive Director Michiyo Noda, who recently lost her mother. Special thanks to staff members Naomi Miyakita, Kuni Mikami, Terry Saito and special volunteer intern Stephanie Kato for keeping the office running during her absence. And a huge thanks to all our regular volunteers who help keep our activities running so smoothly and our donors and sponsors who help support our activities and mission. We are so grateful to all of you!

Thank you and warmest wishes for a healthy and happy spring!

Susan J. Onuma, President

HS Students from Tohoku

On March 23, 4pm-5pm, Welcome Reception for HS Students from Tohoku was held by JAA and NECTJ (Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese) at the JAA Hall. Three students, Runa Okuyama from Sendai HS, Yuka Nagayama from Fukushima Kogyo Kosen and Shunsuke Takada from Fukushima Futaba HS, spoke in English about their experiences of the tsunami and earthquake, the future and efforts of volunteers in their hometowns. They came a part of the Kizuna Project, an exchange program to foster greater cultural connections between students from Japan and the United States, as well as other people through the power of learning about a natural disaster and its effects upon a people and their country. JAA has supported this project for the past three years.

JAA Japan Disaster Relief

On the meeting of JAA Japan Disaster Relief Committee on Feb. 13, 2015, JAA decided to donate funds to following organizations;
(1)Kizuna Foundation: $55,000 -Bobby Valentine’s Project and $100,000 – Ofunato Recovery Project
(2)Peace Boat: $46,000 – Imakoko Project
(3)Tohno Magokoro Net: $50,000 – Iwate Prefecture Recovery Project
(4)Japanese Children’s Society (NY Ikuei Gakuen): $4,000 – Summer Project

2015 Honorary Officers, Officers, Directors and Chairpersons

Honorary Officers
Honorary Advisor : Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi
Consulate General of Japan in New York
He replaced Amb. Sumio Kusaka.
Honorary Members : Kazuhito Takeuchi – President of Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York
Motomu Takahashi – President of the Nippon Club
Life Trustees : Robert K. Emy, Toshio Kiso, Noboru Sato,
Honorary Directors: Masazumi Adachi, Roy Ashikari, Koji Ichida,
Mozart H. Ishizuka
Honorary President : Gary S. Moriwaki

President : Susan J. Onuma
Vice Presidents: Julie Azuma, David Hiromura,
Shunichi Homma, M.D., Keiko Ishida, Riki Ito*, Makoto Iwahara, M.D., Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Satoru Murase,
Hiroko Onoyama*, Joe Oshima, Seiko Oshima, Suki Terada Ports,Kamal Ramani, M.D.*, Koji Sato,
Katsuo Takeda
Secretary: Koji Sato
Assistant Secretary: Julie Azuma
Treasurer: Joe Oshima

New Vice Presidents:

Riki Ito was born and raised in New York City. She holds MA degrees from New York University and Ochanomizu Univeristy and a doctorate from New York University. She works at Shimmyo Group Ophthalmology Mitsugu Shimmyo, MD, PC. She helped to organize the New York Japanese-American Lions Club, where she served as president and is presently Region Chair of District 20-R2.
Hiroko Onoyama was born in Japan and came to LA to study in ’68 and joined Sony in NY ’71. She’s the former Assistant to Co-Founder and Chairman Akio Morita and chairman Norio Ohga, Sony Corporation (1971-2010), Vice President Executive office, Sony Corporation of America (1988-2010) Advisor (2011-13). She’s on the Board of Trustees of Young People’s Chorus of NYC, Salon de Virtuosi, and Consultant to various organizations.
Kamal Ramani, MD was born and raised in Japan before moving to New York to further his education. He is an internist and runs 20 East Medical, a multi-specialty medical office in midtown Manhattan. Dr. Ramani, is also an executive board member of the Japanese Medical Society of America.

Yuzuru Anzai, M.D., Yoshikatsu Aoyagi, Julie Azuma, Michiko Ito Crampe, Ken Egawa, Tetsuya Fujita,
Tak Furumoto, Susan Hamaker, Kumiko Hasegawa, Keiichiro Hayashi, David Hiromura, George Hirose,
Shunichi Homma, M.D., Keiko Ishida, Riki Ito, Makoto Iwahara, M.D., Yusuke Iwasaki, Yuri Kaneshige*,

Shuji Kato, Takayoshi Kato, Nobuko Kodama, Emiko A. Lindsay,
Kuni Mikami, Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Gary S. Moriwaki, Satoru Murase, Nobuko Cobi Narita, Michiyo Noda,

Robert Norton, Toru Okamoto, Hiroko Onoyama, Susan J. Onuma, Joe Oshima, Seiko Oshima,

Suki Terada Ports, Kamal Ramani, M.D., Yoko Sasaki, Koji Sato, Matsuko Shibuya, Toshiteru Tada,

Michi Tahara, Katsuo Takeda, Aileen Yamaguchi, Yoko Yamamoto, Robert Yanagisawa M.D.
45 directors

New Director:

Yuki Kaneshige – She is the daughter of a kibei Nisei father from California and a mother from Wajima, Japan. Though born and raised in Manhattan, she grew up hearing stories of relatives who were on opposing sides during WWII. She currently works at the Consulate General of Japan on communication matters and hopes to make a small contribution that will bring the Japanese and Japanese American communities in New York closer together on projects, and closer to other communities, particularly those in need.

Committee Chairs
Standing Committees
Planning & Finance: David Hiromura, Katsuo Takeda
Membership-Corporate: Satoru Murase
Membership-Individual: Julie Azuma
Communications (JAA News, Brochure & Web): Julie Azuma,
Susan Hamaker, Michiyo Noda
Archives: Riki Ito, Michiyo Noda
Social Service: Aileen Yamaguchi, Suki Terada Ports,
Seiko Oshima, Yoko Sasaki
Scholarship: Gary S. Moriwaki, Makoto Iwahara
House/Relocation: Gary S. Moriwaki
Legal: Koji Sato

Special Committees
External Affairs: Shunichi Homma, Suki T. Ports and Katsuo Takeda
Audit: Kumiko Hasegawa, Masaki Shimomura
Honjo Scholarship: Gary S. Moriwaki
Music: Joe Oshima, Matsuko Shibuya
Art Exhibition: Yoko Sasaki, George Hirose
Sports & Baseball Tournament: Shuji Kato, Kamal Ramani
Memorial Day Service: Katsuo Takeda
Japanese Language: Nobuko Kodama
Charity Golf: David Hiromura, Michi Tahara
Bazaar/Flea Market: JAA Office
Sakura Matsuri at Flushing Meadow, Corona Park:
Susan Hamaker, Suki Terada Ports, Hiroko Onoyama
Committee on Aging Issues: Susan Onuma, Riki Ito, Michiyo Noda
Business Women’s Committee: Keiko Ishida, Tsuneko Mitsunaka
Apple Kids: Hiroyuki Takenaga
Young Professional Committee: Yoko Yamamoto

Special Events

  • JAA/US-Japan COUNCIL Charity Golf Tournament on May 19, 2015: Gary S. Moriwaki
  • 108th JAA Gala Dinner on Dec.4, 2015: Susan J. Onuma, Kamal Ramani
  • Holiday Party for JAA Volunteers on Dec.16: Riki Ito, Tsuneko Mitsunaka

  • JAA Annual General Meeting
    And Grand Opening Reception and New Year Reception

    (All photos by Masao Katagami)

    ・スil to r・スjMr. Takahashi・スAMs. Onuma・スA
    Amb Kusaka・スAMr. Hiromura and Mr. Moriwaki.

    "Splendor" by Masaaki Noda (on the wall)
    (l to r) Ms. Kusaka, Amb. Kusaka, Ms. Onuma
    and Ms. Ports

    We had our Annual General Meeting on February 25, 2015. At this general meeting, the financial report was followed by the introduction of the Honorary Officers and Committee Chairpersons. All were approved. We also introduced our JAA officers for 2015 and our new board of directors. The Opening Ceremony for the new JAA Hall followed the General Meeting. We did the Japanese traditional opening celebration "Kagamiwari" with Amb. Sumio Kusaka, Mr. Motomu Takahashi (president of the Nippon Club), Ms. Onuma, Mr. Moriwaki and Mr. Hiromura. More than 150 members and the guests enjoyed music performance by the young artists (Alisa Mori on violin and Daniel Mori on piano) and introduced "Splendor," a wall sculpture that artist Masaaki Noda created to symbolize the relationship between west and east and to show the great activities and energy of JAA .

    2015 New Year Reception at the Nippon Club

    This annual event sponsored by the Consulate General and cosponsored by JAA, the Nippon Club and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of NY was held on January 8 at the Nippon Club with more than 250 people in attendance. Greetings were given by Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, Mr. Kazuhisa Takeuchi of JCCI, Mr. Motomu Takahashi of Nippon Club and our President Susan Onuma.

    New Year Party for Seniors
    at the Nippon Club

    This 24th annual event "New Year Party for Seniors" was hosted by the Nippon Club in the Rose Room on January 22. The tables were beautifully spread with traditional New Year’s delicacies for the 80 senior guests. First, Mr. Motohiko Satoh, Executive Secretary, gave New Year greetings to all in attendance. Guests enjoyed the performance of the Nippon Club Women’s Chorus. JAA President Ms. Susan Onuma gave a thank you speech and presented a flower basket to Mr. Satoh. 30 boxed lunches were delivered to those seniors of JAA and JASSI who were unable to attend.

    Lecture by Ms. Marie Kondo "Spark Joy"

    On January 31, an overcapacity crowd came to JAA to hear Marie Kondo, author of the best – selling book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying". Our President, Susan J. Onuma, interpreted as the audience learned how to properly fold clothes, organize and only keep things that "spark joy" ("tokimeki"). It was a great way to kick off the New Year and also introduce people to our new community center.

    45th JAA Scholarships

    Since 1971, The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. has awarded scholarships to graduating high school students of Japanese descent living in the tri-states of NY, NJ and CT area who are applying to United States institutions of higher learning. Scholarships range from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00 and airline tickets to Japan may also be awarded to certain scholarship recipients this year. The Annual Scholarship Dinner will be held on May 28th, 2015 at the Harvard Club. Our keynote speaker will be Ms. Kaoriko Kuge, journalist and senior anchor at Fujisankei Communications International (FCI).
    Application form is available at JAA web site and JAA office.
    The deadline is May 8, 2015

    Tak Furumoto and wife Carol

    JAA board member Tak Furumoto and wife Carol received Proclamation from Office of the Mayor Fort Lee.
    They began Furumoto Realty in their basement office at 1495 Palisade Avenue, Fort Lee in the summer of 1974. Tak returned from Vietnam in February of 1971 and was later diagnosed with and overcame PTSD and exposure to Agent Orange. He was decorated with a Bronze Star Medal. He married Carol in 1972, and Carol had supported Tak both physically and psychologically during the tough times. Furumoto Realty was the first Japanese American real estate firm in the entire East Coast and recently celebrated their 40th Year Anniversary on October 26, 2014. Mayor Mark J. Sokolich and the Borough Council of Fort Lee declared Thursday, February 12, 2015 "Takeshi Tak Furumoto Day."

    Ms. Michiyo Noda

    (Photo by Masao Katagami)

    JAA Executive Director Mrs. Michiyo Noda received the Consul General’s Commendation on February 10th, 2015. Ambassador Kusaka presented the award to her for her dedicated efforts at JAA. Ms. Noda has been working at JAA for more than 28 years and has helped make JAA a strong and vibrant organization by working closely with past Presidents, board of directors and volunteers. She is the heart of JAA and we congratulate her on this well- deserved commendation!

    Obama Care

    The seminars and individual consultations led by navigator Ms. Grace Kim (KCS Public Health and Research Center) and Ms. Keiko Higa (Japanese interpreter) were held in January & February 2015. You can find out your insurance information at at the KCS Center 212-463-9685. Special Enrollment Period: from 3/1/2015 through 4/30/2015 for people who learn that they have a federal tax penalty for not having health insurance in 2014. They can still enroll for 2015.

    JAA Social Service Committee

    Kerokai on Feb. 26

    Kerokai on Mar. 26

    Kerokai on Feb. 12 at 12pm – Menu was "Pork over Rice"
    "Potato Salad" "Clear Soup" and "Ice Cream".

    on Feb. 26 -Hinamatsuri Keirokai "Eel over Rice" "Clear Soup" and "Milk Jelly" were on menu. Ohinasama (dolls for girls day in March ) was displayed at JAA by Mrs. Shizuko Kato and Ms. Hiroko Onogawa

    on March 12 -"Colorful Don" "Harusame Salad" "Soup" "Ice Cream" were on menu.

    on March 26 – Beef over rice (Gyudon), Broccoli with Sesame Sauce, Clear Soup, Sweet Red-bean Soup

    All attended seniors enjoyed seasonable foods and Karaoke with IWAKI Band.

    Please make reservations to attend the luncheon or consultations and lunch deliveries. ・スB

    Renewal of Membership for 2015

    JAA membership renewal forms were sent in January. We are organizing information of our members for emergency purposes and to upgrade our services. Kindly complete the renewal form if you have any changes; otherwise, please just return the form back with your membership fee. Members’ information will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to outsiders except in an emergency.
    If you haven’t received your renewal form by now, please contact JAA office.

    We have been sending JAA News and information updates via email. It’s much quicker and less costly than regular mail. If you would like to receive your newsletter and other information by e-mail, please contact JAA office.

    2015 JAA Activities

    Regular scheduled events & programs

  • Senior Luncheon: Twice a month 2nd & 4th Thursday
  • Apple Kids ( and
    Japanese Business Women’s Committee ( will have monthly events.

    Free Consultations

    JAA provides free consultations by professionals for all the people in the community.

  • Free Consultation on Health and Social welfare by Dr. Umeko Takeshige on the days of senior luncheon
  • Free Legal Consultation on Wills and other topics
    ・ス@by Helen Irie, Esq. and Reiko Takikawa, Esq. on 4th Thursday of odd Months

  • Free Legal Consultation (excluding Immigration law)
    ・ス@by Reiko Kasano, Esq. on 2nd Thursday of even months

  • Free Legal Consultation on Immigration Law
    ・ス@by Reina Boaz, Esq. Keiko Kato, Esq. Katsumi Miki, Esq.
    ・ス@Noriaki Miyamoto, Esq. and Mami Terai, Esq. on 3rd Thursday of every month

  • Free Consultation on Tax
    ・ス@by Joe Oshima, CPA in January & February

    Free Hair Cut Service

    by hairstylist Michi Tahara, Shunsuke Takahashi, Shige Kosuda, Nori Sasaki and Toshi Kubota
    on 2nd Monday.

    Schedule in 2015
    March 14 (Sat.) & 15 (Sun.): Japanese Language Spring Workshop
    April 4 (Sat.): Spring Flea Market
    April 11(Sat.) to April 27(Sat.): the 7th Sakura Health Fair
    April 18 (Sat.): the 11th Sakura Matsuri @ Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    April to August on Sunday mornings: the 30th JAA Foreign Minister’s Cup Baseball Tournament
    May 7 (Thurs.) to 15 (Fri.): the 20th Art Exhibition
    May 10 (Sun.): Japan Day @ Central Park – JAA will host a Calligraphy booth
    May 19 (Tues.): JAA/USJC Charity Golf Tournament @ Montclair Golf Club
    May 25 (Mon.): Memorial Day Services at Japanese Cemeteries@ Mt Olivet Cemetery
    May 28th (Thurs.): JAA Scholarship Dinner
    Aug. 1 (Sat.): Summer Flea Market
    September 12 (Sat.) – 27 (Sun.): the 9th Senior Week
    September 21 (Mon.): the 22nd Charity Golf Tournament @ the Haworth C.C.
    Oct. 24 (Sat.): Japanese Language Fall Workshop
    Nov. 7 (Sat.): Annual Bazaar
    Nov. 19 (Thurs.): Thanksgiving Day Keirokai
    Dec. 4 (Fri.): the 108th JAA Gala Dinner
    Dec. 16 (Wed.): Volunteers Thank You reception
    Dec. 17 (Thurs.): End of the Year Keirokai